Computational Biology Seminar Series for Undergraduates

Sponsored by the LSU College of Science, the Department of Biological Sciences, the Center for Computation & Technology and the Louisiana Biomedical Research Network

Models are imperfect, mostly wrong and surprisingly useful

Abstract:

We constantly look for ways to predict and explain physical phenomena using mathematical models. But, every model that we build to mimic what is happening in the world is to an extent wrong; mainly due to simplifications and assumptions that we make in order to be able to solve the models. With the advancements in our computational capabilities, we can solve more complicated equations to model larger and more sophisticated systems. And, one of the fields that has benefited tremendously from modeling is biology. On the other hand, proteins are important building blocks in biological systems. Therefore, having knowledge of protein structures and functions is instrumental to understanding the mechanisms of action of the biological processes and diseases. Protein modeling has consequently become an integral part of biological research today. Here, you see how we are using these models to:

These models, just like any other model, are at some level inaccurate; yet, complemented with appropriate in vitro and in vivo experiments, even the simplest protein modeling strategies can generate very useful insights.

Bio:

Misagh Naderi is a doctorate degree candidate in Biochemistry. After receiving a Master’s degree in Chemical Engineering, due to his interest in biomedical research, Misagh joined a virology research lab in School of Veterinary Medicine at LSU in 2010 and later joined the Computational Systems Biology group in 2013. By applying protein modeling and computational techniques to the ongoing high quality research in biomedical and computer science here at LSU, Misagh has been a part of very successful collaborative teams. His PhD research includes drug development for orphan diseases, virus protein modeling, and software development for computational drug discovery.

Misagh Naderi

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the School of Veterinary Medicine, Louisiana State University